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Begging for a Spoof

As some of you know, there is a very large movement afoot to make the stories that come out of Hollywoodland more interesting.   And by more interesting, I mean less reductive of a woman’s existence. Women in films (and most TV) often end up playing “the wife/the mother/the girlfriend” etc…  roles limited to extensions of a man’s existence. Either that, or they are roles described as being “empowering” but really only parts where women are yelling a lot, complaining a lot, naked in an embarrassing way, or doing bad things without consequence.

Here’s a terrific example: real casting descriptions of women’s roles, as read for the first time by women. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQNLs94_grk 

 

Now a new film by Terrance Malik is coming out, called “Knight of Cups” and although the trailer is stunning and I’m sure the movie has much to offer, the description of it is just begging for an SNL spoof.  I found it in a recent blog on IndieWire that called it “a reminder of all that is wrong in Hollywood.”

“‘Knight of Cups; follows writer Rick (Christian Bale, The Fighter, ‘American Hustle’) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he undertakes a search for love and self. Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Wes Bentley) and father (Brian Dennehy). His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women: rebellious Della (Imogen Poots); his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Cate Blanchett); a serene model Helen (Freida Pinto); a woman he wronged in the past Elizabeth (Natalie Portman); a spirited, playful stripper Karen (Teresa Palmer); and an innocent Isabel (Isabel Lucas), who helps him see a way forward.”

Kind of the same old thing, right?  I thought it would be fun to take the exact same writing and do a female version, by changing nothing but the pronoun “he” to “she” and the men’s roles to women’s roles. I did not change the descriptions or the grammar. Check it out:

“‘Queen of Cups; follows writer Sarah (Natalie Portman, V for Vendetta, Black Swan, ‘Leon the Professional’) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as she undertakes a search for love and self. Even as she moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Sarah grapples over complicated relationships with her sister (Mila Kunis) and her mother (Deborah Messing). Her quest to break the spell of her disenchantment takes her on a series of adventures with six alluring men: rebellious Bill (Liam Hemsworth); her physician ex-husband, Charles (James Franco), a serene model Harry (Robert Pattinson), a man she wronged in the past Anthony (Shia LaBeouf), a spirited, playful stripper Carl (Taylor Lautner), and an innocent Jonathan (Michael Sera), who helps her see a way forward.”

What do you think? Would you go see a film about this woman? I think I would. In fact, I would LOVE to see it. It could be even more interesting with a gay woman or a trans woman in the lead,  but even a story about a hetero woman and her quest to be awakened by love would be a big step in a more interesting direction. I am aware that not every film must be a political statement, but we’ve been seeing this story in the film by Malik over and over again, just with a different director. “Successful ‘man versus himself’ tale finds our hero in a big city, detached from caring via over-indulgence. The women he meets are a continued distraction, except for one who acts as his road to reattachment of his Self through love.”

Zzzzzzzzz.

Let’s flip that script, yeah?

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How to Make a Documentary Part 1

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Director Lesli Linka Glatter” from “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct”

So many people have an idea for what would make a good doc, but not that many people act on it. If you are one of those people considering getting into the field of documentary films, here’s some advice from the frontline!

First, you need to have an idea that inspires you so much, you are willing to spend a full year or more of your life on it. That’s really important. You are going to eat, sleep, and dream about your subject. Even worse, your wife or husband and all your friends are going to hear about it ad nasuem because it’s pretty much going to become an obsession. So choose wisely what subject you are going to spend endless amounts of time with.

Finola Hughes directing a film
Director Finola Hughes on set, from “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct”

For me it was women directors, partly because I am one and was feeling like an endangered species. Women directors have been up until recently practically invisible. Now, in part because of the EEOC’s investigation into charges of discrimination against women filmmakers in Hollywood, there is a lot more media attention on the subject.

Although there are some important changes starting to happen, it is the larger, overall understanding of what women are capable of that is still stuck in the past. For example, just the other day I was talking to a very nice fellow, telling him about my project.

He said, “Oh, I didn’t know women directed movies. How cool!”

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 1.06.41 PMI reminded him that a woman won the Oscar for directing a few years ago, thinking he must’ve recalled that historic moment.

He said, “Oh right. What was her name? She’s the only one that directs movies, right?”

I am positive he is not the only person who thinks this.

I think it’s fair to say that most people have no idea how many women are out there fighting for respect and a place in creative leadership positions. Positions not only in the film and television industry, but in finance, tech, the sciences, and academia. Women worldwide are still dealing with a pervasive idea that we are limited in our capabilities based on our gender.

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Director Leah Meyerhoff from “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct”

This is the perception that I, and many others, are trying to change. People like directors Lesli Linka Glatter, Leah Meyerhoff, and Sarah Gavron all care about making sure other women in the directing field have opportunities they they themselves have had to fight tirelessly to achieve. I’ve had the privilege to interview them and can tell you, they really are doing everything they can to help change the landscape of bias and transform it into opportunity for women.

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Director Sarah Gavron from “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct”

When I think about the years of time these women (and women like them) have spent working to make it in their field, women who could just focus on themselves and their careers but who still do everything they can to help others, it inspires me.

I know I can spend at least a year or more of my life on a documentary about these women. I know that my film, no matter it’s level of success, will ultimately be an effort full of integrity and passion, meant to help uplift all people, but especially those of the female gender. For me, that feels like something worthy of my time here on the planet.

What do YOU feel passionate about changing in this world? Think about it. Are you willing to spend a year of your life thinking about it? Then I bet it would make a really interesting documentary.

Next up: figuring out HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY.

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Photo by Jimmy King

Tribute to David Bowie

Rarely am I shocked when a public figure dies. They seem to go often these days, and I think of myself as kind of immune to it. But when I saw the news that David Bowie died yesterday morning I was in a cab on my way to JFK to catch a flight to London.

“Oh my God, David Bowie died!” I exclaimed out loud to the taxi driver.

See, I had a strange encounter with David Bowie when I went to see him in concert in Battery Park in NYC in 2002. It was something I never forgot.

Before the concert began, I had the fortune to go “behind the scenes” to the back area where refreshments and such were being offered. (The friend who took me had access to these kinds of things.)

Anyway, I was waiting around for him to come back with a beer, just standing there looking at the trees, when I turned to see my friend rushing towards me.

“Cady!” he said, “David Bowie was asking about you!”

“What?”

“Yes! He wanted to know who the girl with the green hat was!”

I was wearing a little green hat, some kind of sweater, jeans, and platform boots. I had long blonde hair almost down to my waist at the time. I probably looked like some kind of character out of 1960’s London.

“What did you tell him?”

I think I was relegated to “some actress.” I wished he’d said I was a poet. Actors always get the bad rap. Still, I was pretty thrilled. David Bowie noticed me. I instantly turned into a groupie.

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Just before the show started, we all gathered around David’s trailer. By this point I was  ready to do whatever was necessary to make David happy, and I mean anything.  He had noticed me! What else did a girl need? (Insert older Cady eye rolls here).

When he emerged from his trailer I noticed he was actually quite small. This was something that had never occurred to me before. That such a big star would be so petite.

As he came down the steps I was determined to make sure he knew that I was there. (Groupie mentality in full gear, as I mentioned. Who was I to get in the way of what Mr. Bowie wanted?) I waited until he was just about two feet away from me, right in my path, and I stepped in front of him.

“Hello,” I said.

“Hello,” he said.

Then something quick passed between us, or rather from him to me, that felt like this: “In another time, another place, I might ask you to wait for me after the show. But I’m a different man now. A married man, and I don’t do that anymore. So thank you, I’m flattered, but I have to pass.”

I felt all of that in just a moment. It was both gracious and clear. So I stepped aside and let him pass.  I honestly don’t know where I got the nerve to get in his way in the first place, really. What cheek!

During the show my friend and I got to be in the orchestra section with all the “Very Famous People” and we acted like the big, stupid David Bowie fans that we both were: singing along with the songs, sitting on the wall between us and the crowd, waving our hands up in the air. I even noticed David glancing over at us once or twice as if he were wondering, “Are those two going to be a problem?” until he realized that we just loved the music so much. When he saw that, and I believe that he did and understood what we were really there for, I think it lifted him a little bit. Because I saw a tinge of the young Bowie come out. A “spark” that was clearly a part of his younger art and self. It was dazzling.

Where he’s looking and gesturing was right where we were sitting, up high on a wall. I know, I know… I sound like a crazy fan…. but we WERE!

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This was just before he had heart surgery in 2004, so there’s a good chance his calmer demeanor was a reflection of the health issues he was dealing with, it’s possible is all I’m saying.

Of course it’s possible this was all in my mind, total projection, and I was just a fan and he was just a superstar. Of course, if he hadn’t ASKED about me, that’d be what it was. But he had asked. So it felt like a little something more.

But as someone who has walked around naked in my apartment to Bowie music blasting from cheap speakers, I like to think he appreciated the rock and roll gesture.

Meanwhile, I share with you one of the most gorgeous fan tribute videos ever made. It made me weep, it is so perfect and beautiful. What’s amazing is that it was made BEFORE Bowie died, so he got to see it, and called it:

“Perhaps the most poignant version of the song ever created.” ~ David Bowie.

Clearly, I’m not the only one who was touched by the man and his music.

Now I shift my younger instincts into something else, my work. I hope that I can be as risk-taking and redefining of my Self as he was: willing to let everything that once worked GO in order to experiment with the next thing that feels RIGHT.

Because we aren’t here forever, that’s a fact.

Safe travels, Spaceman. Hope I get to see you again somewhere.

 

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Some Great Advice

Shana is an amazing woman. She’s the very first director I called to talk to about this documentary and she was immediately supportive. As you might recall from an earlier post, we got on Skype immediately (the “I look like shit,” “That’s ok I look like shit, too” convo) and started brainstorming about what this project could look like.

I flew to New Orleans, where she’s currently living and scouting for her latest film, to interview her. Here’s a little taste of what she had to say. I think this is good advice for any woman looking to go into fields of work that are currently dominated by men. Until the issue of gender bias is resolved and our minds are able to think in a new way about where leadership and creativity come from, we have to learn to be stronger without losing our kindness and compassion for others.

#WomenDirect

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Inspirations for 2016

So much fun to be asked to guest blog! Thanks Lorien Eck, for being such a lovely woman and artist, and for inspiring me to take some time out to talk about my own inspirations this year! (Check out her art!)

What Inspires You? A guest blog with Cady McClain

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Ms in the Biz

Lips IllustrationSuper excited to share with you my article “Why You Should Hire a Woman Director” on “Ms in the Biz!” In it, you’ll find lots of fun videos and some thoughts on hiring practices that I think might surprise you!

 

And if you like my article, tell me about it! I love to hear what YOU think about what’s going on in the world these days!

Thank you!

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“The Intern” Takes You Away

I recently finished watching “The Intern” by Nancy Meyers. Granted, it was on a plane and the sound and picture resolution were not what you would get in the theater, but I have to say as far as movies go, it was pretty damn good. I’d give it four and a half stars. The missing half star is only because it’s a highly commercial film, and although it digs into some really important topics, it skims just above the surface of the deeper and more painful aspects of gender bias, keeping the viewer from having to look too hard at themselves or society. But is that such a bad thing?

I know immediately some people out there will say, “Well of course you liked it. It’s a chick flick and you’re a chick!” But the fact of the matter is: you see more of Robert De Niro in this film than you see Anne Hathaway. And his character actually has the line, “I hate to be the feminist among the two of us but…” The film seems to say, “Hey ladies, don’t hate the good guys! Some dudes are really great, and lots of them really love and support women who want to be or are successful.” Now this certainly isn’t a message I disagree with, but it left me wondering why it needed to be said in the first place. Just how much “male bashing” is going on out there? Do women really need to be told “men are not the enemy?”

IF this is the case, it makes me wonder why. And it worries me. Because no group is going to rise based on the diminishing of another group. Life just doesn’t work that way. The fact is: those who scream and point their finger ALWAYS create suspicion in others. This, however, doesn’t mean they are always wrong. It just means that there is a way to talk about bias and “bashing” anyone isn’t one of them. On the flip side, was this ultimately a way to tell the patriarchs of the entertainment industry, “Don’t be threatened by us gals on the rise because us gals really need your love and guidance?” I don’t know… but it did make me wonder.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 1.12.59 PMI also wonder if some women hate “chick flicks” because they have heard them demeaned so often that they don’t want to be associated with something that some people look down on. But who are “those people” and frankly, what should anyone care what “they” have to say? If you think a movie is good and you like it, what is more important than that? (And if you don’t agree with me, I hope you agree at least that it’s ME you disagree with, not who I “represent” in some generalized way.)

Speaking of generalization, why do Nancy Meyers movies have to get stuck in the “chick flick/women’s movie” genre in the first place? Why does her work have to minimized in that way? She makes good, successful films that a lot of people pay money to watch, no matter what you think of their deeper message. Films that have interesting male characters and strong male lead actors as well as very strong female characters and actors. And the point of view of the film doesn’t feel particularly “feminine” in my opinion, as if it suffered from another way of minimizing the import of films called the “female gaze.” Her films just feel like “fantasy” to me. A particular kind of fantasy, but one that I think can appeal to men as well as women. I’d call it “the good life” fantasy.

(I realize this isn’t much of a review, classically. But I am trying to put my oar in the waters of review-land one way or the other because I think more voices of humans-who-happen-to-be-women need to be out there talking more about the stories we are consuming as part of our mass culture. So love it or hate it, I’m basically putting my money where my mouth is.)

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 1.36.41 PMSo (hoping that you forgive the fact I did not finish college) let me touch on the classic review principals as I understand them via Google.

ACTING: The film is very well acted. I felt that the actors were committed to their roles and the worlds that they inhabited. I did not sense cynicism or commenting coming from any actor. As an actor myself, this tells me that the actors themselves were feeling really happy to be there and enjoying the script, the director, and the general environment. I think this is really important because it says that the film was probably made in a positive environment, not under duress. This tells me it was a good production with a capable leader at the helm (none other than Nancy Meyers herself.)

WRITING: Nancy Meyers is terrific writer. I challenge anyone to write as neat a script and as fun a plot as she manages to come up with time and time again. Although I question some of her choices regarding how much the lead female comes to depend on the lead male, I give her the benefit of the doubt that she really gave it a lot of thought before she sat down to give us her ideas, so the least I can do is take some time to consider them. “Women do NEED men, just as men NEED women,” I think that was pretty much what she was getting at.  And that’s not necessarily a terrible message. I think she really addressed a lot of gender based issues and how much almost everyone has trouble wrapping their heads around the shift of women from secondary citizens to leaders equal to men. Everyone but Robert De Niro, the old white feminist. I know a few old white male feminists myself, so I know that his character isn’t all fantasy. But he isn’t all reality either.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 1.40.12 PMCOLOR AND TONE: Although somewhat bright and glamorous looking, the overall color scheme fit the “youthful” tone that the film seemed to strive for. The trees were in bloom, the office was light and airy… even the trip to a warehouse seemed clean and organized. Apparently part of a “new life” that Robert De Niro’s character suddenly finds himself living in at the ripe old age of 70. That said, there was no poverty, no homeless, no rugged reality other than that one of the characters, a 20-something intern guy, couldn’t afford the rent in New York City. But don’t worry, he gets rescued. Basically there’s almost no suffering other than that by overwork. Every character was “on the way up” and enjoying good luck and the fruits of their labor. Again, this makes it a fantasy film, but it reminded me more of films of the 30’s and 40’s that were created to help distract people after the depression. Escapism in the guise of modernism. I’m not complaining.

MUSIC: The music felt like classic “rom com,” unobtrusive for the most part, and lighthearted although strangely familiar. It guided you through the film, without lyric, allowing the scenes to be viewed without too much “let us tell you how to feel” blasting through my earphones.  At times it felt slick, but it never made me feel like I was being talked down to, which not all films manage, musically. Again, it kept me floating in the pretend bubble of the film’s created world.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 5.40.13 PMAlthough it may sound like I’m bitching in some kind of super-subtle way, I really don’t think that the film was dishonest. At no point did the film try to force me to feel like this was a “reality” I had to accept. Instead it showed the pretty New York full of possibility that inspired me to move there in the first place: the cleaned up brownstones where a single family lives, the leafy green trees bursting with green over a city block in the springtime, the big warehouses in Brooklyn full of busy young people working hard at making the world a better place. A city full of hope and possibility.

That’s a not always a fantasy New York, but I’d rather remember it that way than as it tends to be most of the time: an overcrowded metropolitan area that’s now too expensive for the middle class to live in, not to mention the working class.  A place where people yell at you if you walk too slow, or too fast, or for no reason at all. A place where the winter is cold and unforgiving and the summer equally hot and unforgiving. A place that runs on aggression and competition, merciless to the weak, the poor, or the unlucky.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 1.39.43 PMI think you’ll agree with me that life can be hard in any town so a little fantasy can go a long way. It’s delicious to look at the lithe and lean Anne Hathaway in her fantastic wardrobe, living in her gorgeous brownstone, being driven to work in her BMW. Why not allow ourselves the taste of a cupcake?

Speaking of which, I must make a stop at the original Magnolia Bakery when I’m next in New York City. The frosting always tasted the best there.

 

 

 

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Seeing is Believing Promo!

Here we go!

Please come join the process of making this film and find amazing articles at:

https://www.facebook.com/WomenDirectors

 

Thanks for your support!

Cady

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On “Women’s Stories” with Cady McClain (by Cady McClain)

CM: Tell me about your film. Why are you making this? Aren’t you an actor?

CM: I guess it’s personal. I wanted to quit acting and be a director when I was 22, but my mom was sick (she had Cancer) and begged me not to. I couldn’t deny her needs, so I waited. After she died, I tried again, but experienced a little betrayal from a woman I was working with on a performance art piece. I had really put my heart into this piece, been writing it for years, put in my own money. The entire concept was mine. After the show ended she took the concept, got a grant for it, and made a whole second show out of it (and didn’t tell me).  I was really heartbroken. When I found out,  I asked her, “Why didn’t you tell me about this?” She claimed she had, but she really hadn’t. It was still total artistic thievery and a complete betrayal of a friendship that I had held as deep and meaningful. The pain of that event stopped me from trying to direct for a long, long time. Sixteen years, to be precise.

CM: You made two films in 2013. What compelled you to get into film?

 

CM: To answer this question properly, I’d have to go back and talk about what happened on a soaps that I was working on because honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind to direct a film. I was an actor. I wrote songs and poems. I went to art school. I was trying to find both myself and a person I could make a home with… but directing film seemed far out of my reach, so I didn’t even consider it.

Soap Opera Digest

When they killed off my character on AMC (Dixie) at the end of 2006 it was a real motivator for me to reconsider my future. And for the record (again) killing Dixie was a move to get the fans shocked and surprised in that “anything can happen to your favorite characters, so stay tuned,” sort of way.  And as most people know, there was a huge uproar and they asked me back in 2009 and offered me a two year contract in 2011. Then they asked me to do the internet version of the show in 2013. I was even on the cover of Soap Digest in 2009 with the line “We Screwed Up: What Went Wrong and How AMC is Making it Right” under my face. These are the facts.

But that event really did hit me hard. I felt like I’d lost my family, the place that “had my back no matter what.” So I had to really dig inside myself and find a new path.

I do think a lot of women have been afraid to speak out, but for many, right now we are at a tipping point where the need to be heard is stronger than the fear of staying silent.

CM: Sounds like this still gets to you sometimes. Does it?

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CM: I’ve probably have one of the thickest skins you’ll ever meet. Like, rhino thick. I know I come off as a pretty gentle person, but when things get tough, I’m the person you want around. My favorite saying is “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” But I’ve got feelings, you know? I have a heart.

CM: But good things have come out of that adversity. You continued to work on soaps, and have had a lot of recognition for your films, even a “Honorable Mention for Best Director.” That must have meant a lot.

CM: It absolutely did. It was a real validation that I had the two things directors need most: determination and vision.  And I experienced real respect on those shoots. The crew I worked with were all men and they were terrific. We had a great time working together. Next time, I am going to hire more women behind the camera, because now I know how many fantastic women there are who deserve the opportunity.

CM: You are making a documentary about women filmmakers. Why a doc and not another short, or even a full length narrative feature?

CM: I think the reason behind me talking to women filmmakers (as well as women in TV and theater) has a great deal to do with my looking for strong, creative, female leaders that I can look up to and learn from. My Mom died when I was 25, and my Dad was an alcoholic and almost never around… and he died when I was 35… so I’ve really had to search to find people who were beyond me in their life experience and understanding, you know, role models.  School only takes you so far. It’s experience you need to listen to. I really needed to hear from people who were DOING the work I looked up to. And I’m so glad I did. It’s been an amazing journey so far.

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with Meera Menon, director of “Farah Goes Bang” and “Equity.”

CM: What is the purpose of the film?

CM: Ultimately, the goal is to shine light on these artists ability and what makes them persist in creating meaningful stories, against dismal odds. I’m not looking to deny how bad it’s been, but I feel there’s a lot of press out there about the limitations and obstacles. And yes, things have got to change in so many ways…  But I feel like the kind of stories these particular women are telling are real game changers.

For example, Leah Meyerhoff digs deep into the interior life of a teenage girl with her coming-of-age film “I Believe in Unicorns.” I mean, when have you seen a film about a teenage girls INTERIOR life?? C’mon. That’s pretty rare. Deborah Kampmeier explores the importance of becoming whole again after losing your innocence (not pure, but WHOLE, a really important distinction) with “Houndog,” and is digging even deeper into feminine power and spirit with “SPLit.” Meera Meron explores the raw bonding within female friendships on a whole new level with “Farah Goes Bang,” and just directed the first film about women on Wall Street in 27 years, “Equity.”

CM:  Why are these stories so important?

CM: I think there is this passive bias that women tell “soft stories,” and that is an erroneous cliche that is partly to blame for women being kept out of the larger marketplace. These artists are digging into aspects of the female gender that, when I see and hear them revealed, make me want to cry out of sheer gratitude. Up until now, despite having worked on soaps, I haven’t seen these points of view. I haven’t seen enough of MY reality as a woman reflected back in the stories we are telling ourselves as a culture. But that’s changing now. It’s a huge and thrilling shift.

I Believe in Unicorns by Leah Meyerhoff

CM: Why is this so important… to see a woman’s reality reflected back via stories on stage and screen?

CM: To be a good storyteller is to know life, and to know what the culture needs to confront. A great film forces us as an audience to look at certain aspects of human nature, even when we’d rather look away. We as a culture value those storytellers because they know we need to look, they know we need to confront ourselves and they make us do it.

Women are 51% of the population. To not have their point of view, to not honor their insights is to have a culture that is out of balance. A culture that will turn in on itself, sicken and die. We can’t just look at one side of the coin. We must have women’s stories in order to have a healthy society.

The world needs more people who are willing to step forward and talk about what is going on, so we can all grow and learn together

CM: But you seem to also be saying that women tell stories that are just as raw as the stories that men tell.

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CM: Yes, but it’s in a different way. I think it comes down to understanding this issue of “what is female.” It shouldn’t be confused with “what is feminine,” because “femininity” is a word with a lot of cultural layers on it. “Femininity” can suggest a passivity, and I don’t know many passive women, do you? They all seem pretty active in their lives, even if it’s by being subversive. And to address the women out there that are passive or that struggle with passivity: passivity is a behavior that is informed by fear. You’re passive when you’re afraid. I have a lot of compassion for that as I’ve known a fair share of fear in my life. I do think a lot of women have been afraid to speak out, but for many, right now we are at a tipping point where the need to be heard is stronger than the fear of staying silent.

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CM: What’s so inspiring about these stories for you?

CM:The female aspect within is much deeper than gender. It’s a spiritual aspect that both sexes have. Men need to know that it’s okay to have a complex side of themselves that isn’t all action. Women need to know that they aren’t just relegated to being a sounding board. Kids need to know that they don’t have to follow entrenched gender roles, but find their own truths. Looking at the deeper female nature is a way to allow this wisdom back into the culture.

CM: So you think that women storytellers and women’s stories will help heal the world?

CM: Well, isn’t that what the best storytelling does? Make us able to consider where change is needed so we can continue to thrive as people? Even some of the most violent films, the ones that are really meaningful, like “The Departed” or “The Hurt Locker” can help make us look at our issues.

CM: Why look so deep into the issues of why stories are important? Why not just enjoy life and relax a little?

With Deborah Kampmeier
With writer/director Deborah Kampmeier

CM: I’m not sure I can answer that question. I’ve been on my own quest to continue to pursue what I feel is important. Which is to tell stories that illuminate the human experience in general, and women’s experiences in particular. And by listening to the women who have taken the road less travelled, I’m getting some incredible insights and wisdom that I am excited to share with the world.

And that’s this film at its core is about. I want to empower women and those who identity as “female” to feel less alone in their journey by showing them all the amazing artists who are fighting to tell underrepresented stories, their stories. I also hope to inspire others who want to tell these stories to take the risks toward making their dream happen. The world needs more people who are willing to step forward and talk about what is going on, so we can all grow and learn together. It feels like an amazing time of change and possibility, and I hope this film will help propel that change forward.

CM: You sound like a politician or a self-help guru! C’mon, isn’t that what you are, deep down?

CM: No, absolutely not. I’m an artist. Artist’s talk about life in their art and that’s all I’m trying to do. If what I make inspires others to think about life a little differently, or makes them laugh, or makes them want to get up and tell their own story then I’ve done my job.

The journey of making “Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct” can be followed on Facebook by clicking this link.

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Documentary

Yeah. So. I’m doing a doc on women directors. Why? Well… it’s kind of a long story. The basic skinny is that it occurred to me that every once in a while I would hear about a woman director, and I’d sort of “pine” for her. Like when you hear there’s a new Jimmy Choo shoe coming out that you know you can’t afford but you’d really like to see all the same. Do you dare to look or will it make the pain of not having even worse? I know it’s sorted of effed up to compare a woman to a Jimmy Choo shoe (or is it?) but that’s how I felt. Like there were these women out there who had created something and I knew I should be closer to what they were creating… but it just kind of HURT to even think about it.

Funny thing about pain… it’s always the great motivator.

So the pain got bad enough, or the desire to be out of pain got big enough… and someone actually said, “OH MY GOD THAT’S A GREAT IDEA YOU SHOULD DO THAT” in such a way and at such a time that I said to myself… “Well, shit. I guess I should do this.”

So what happened is, my husband knew this one woman who he thought I should talk to. She’s a director named Shana Betz. We had had dinner with her a few months back and I really dug her, like a mini, unexpressed girl crush kind of dig. She was a bad ass. My husband said she might be a cool person to start talking to, so since we were already friends on FB I screwed up my courage and messaged her.

Here’s exactly what it looked like. For real.

Say What?

 

I seriously couldn’t believe this. Almost fell out of my chair.

(Isn’t it funny how all you have to do sometimes is say “YES” to a deep idea, and th universe is right there, waiting for you?)

 

 

 

More "What the..."

 

Okay, so I said YES in a really, um, BIG way.

(Forgive me if it offends.)

 

 

 

 

I thought this was totally hilarious.Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.45.12 AM

 

 

 

And that’s how it began… the journey has continued and I have so much more to share and to say… I’ve learned and grown so much in these past few months… but meanwhile, please join me on the FB page for this film:

https://www.facebook.com/WomenDirectors

And THANK YOU!

xo

Cady

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